Lately, most nights when I go upstairs to read and talk to my lights, I spend some time rereading Eileen’s obit, or my blog post about her and then the comments. She is, of course, on my mind, as she often has been over the years. I also keep going back and rereading a message my beloved Sasha sent me. Sasha, who I love so much that I just think of her as Sasha and sometimes forget how brilliant she is.

Cynthia, words can’t justly express how sorry I am to hear about Eileen. And writing this, it hit me that I’m experiencing double-grieving, if that makes sense—the loss of Eileen in the world but also my great sadness at the loss of you two together in that magical way. If ever there were near perfect chemistry, it was you two together. It drew people to you (myself included) and hugely enriched my life at a key moment in my life, and for that I am grateful, and humbled, but also very, very sad. As sad as I am about Eileen’s travails, and what seemed like a difficult, painful path, it’s my belief that we’re still woven together, that that thread carries on, un-diminishable; that if you just look hard enough, far under the surface, it’s still there—that energy, that sense of connection, that exuberance, that bonding. Always there.

I suppose friendships are kind of like two people singing together. They each have a voice but together they become a third voice. I realize part of my grief is the loss of our third voice even though it’s been muted for so many years.

Then I wonder what the hell we were doing when we took these photo booth pictures. I think there was one at the mall back then. So was I wandering around the mall wearing a witch’s hat? Eileen is wearing a denim jacket, it might be Ernie’s, as I don’t think she had one of her own. And she’s wearing the little Voelkl childhood scarf (that is currently lost again) that I think still has a little label sewn on it with Debbie’s name. I think it’s the shot on the top left that really captures her.

Onward. Chemo day today. I’m guessing gruel for dinner tonight.